Natalie Gregg has been a journalist for more than a decade and has worked as a news reporter and joint chief of staff. She is currently the Courier-Mail’s deputy business editor and editor of Queensland Business Monthly which inserts in the Courier-Mail.
What’s your elevator statement – who are you professionally and personally?
Enthusiastic and optimistic would probably cover my attitude to personal and professional life! I’m a journalist, editor and passionate storyteller and lover of the written word. In my spare time I try to keep fit with surfing, yoga and running. I also wish I had more time to cook and love eating out in Brisbane’s food scene.
What was your route to breaking into journalism?
I did a lot of unpaid internships including at The Courier-Mail while I was studying Journalism and Business at Queensland University of Technology. I was offered a cadetship at The Courier-Mail in my final year of university. My first yarn in the paper was a page three picture story while I was an intern and I still remember the thrill of seeing my name in print for the first time.
Tell us about a typical day at News Corp? What are your key responsibilities?
I juggle my time between assisting the business editor to put out the daily business pages and editing Queensland Business Monthly. My typical day involves getting across the news of the day and preparing the business list for 10.30am news conference (business editor Louise Brannelly takes afternoon conference). Every day both for the daily pages and the magazine I come up with ideas and angles for stories, commission stories and feature articles, liaise with business reporters, sub-editors, photographers, designers, as well spend the later part of the day editing copy. As news breaks I also publish stories for online.
When did you first know you wanted to be a journalist?
I’ve always been very curious and loved talking to people and telling stories. I was a talkative kid and always had my hand up in class asking questions. In my last year of high school I started taking an interest in the news and did well in English so decided to study journalism. It wasn’t til I did more practical subjects through university that I realised it was the career for me.
Which journalist or writer from around the world do you most admire?
News Corp’s Cindy Wockner. Cindy is a great journalist and excellent writer, she is dedicated to her craft and covered the major big stories in the region from the Bali bombings to Schapelle Corby and the Bali 9 with skill and sensitivity. Trent Dalton for his incredible writing and nuanced storytelling. Authors Tim Winton and Richard Flanagan for their depiction of the Australian identity and landscape. Flanagan’s novel Narrow Road to the Deep North was the most devastating and brilliant books I read last year.
What communication tools can’t you live without?
My iphone. I’m not obsessive about it and don’t mind switching it off on holidays but on a work day it’s never far away so I can check news, email, twitter, and other social media.
What are the biggest challenges you face? And what are the biggest opportunities?
Time and resource pressures. We are always doing more with less. I think the opportunities are in new and exciting ways to tells stories When people say “newspapers are dead” they don’t understand how much the industry has evolved and is evolving and with that is the opportunity to be creative and have more platforms to tell stories with video, podcasts, interactives, pictures and words.
Tell us about an interview and article you’re most proud of?
I’m most proud of the work I’ve been doing in the business section and editing Queensland Business Monthly for the past year. The best was our special edition on innovation. Innovation is at risk of becoming buzz word with no meaning but with this edition we set out to cut through the jargon and Government spin on what an innovative business in Queensland and Australia looks like and how we can become this “nimble nation”. It was a gorgeous cover story too on drone expert Dr Catherine Ball who is Telstra’s Queensland Business Woman of the year.
What’s been the biggest change to the newsroom since you began your career?
Online. When I started at the Courier in 2003 we had with just two online editors. Now it’s half of what we do and an integral part of the newsroom.
What book/blog/newspaper do you think every communicator should read?
The Courier-Mail if you live in Queensland. We have the largest, most well-resourced newsroom in the state and our reporters break stories and set the agenda.
What tips do you wish you’d known before starting out in journalism?
To have the confidence to run my own race and do the best that I can do without comparing myself with others. There is always going to be someone better, more experienced, further ahead in their career. You can learn from these people.